Nova Scotia Renewable Energy Advocates Call for Feed-In Tariffs

The Renewable Energy Industry Association of Nova Scotia (REIANS) is calling for the government to immediately implement Standard Offered Contracts (SOC) for wind, solar, small hydro, biomass and other renewable energy sources. Offering pre-fixed and fair “Feed-in Tariff” prices to be paid by all utilities for renewable energy, SOCs have led to the successful expansion of renewable energy in China, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland and Ontario.

In a letter to Premier Rodney MacDonald and his government last month, REIANS stated that without the immediate adoption of SOCs, Nova Scotia has little hope of attracting renewable energy manufacturers to the province, and encouraged him to recognize the economic opportunities, capital investment and related spin-off benefits. SOCs would support a reliable, sustainable electricity supply; a reduction in Nova Scotia’s dependency on imported fossil fuels (more than C$400 million [US$ 357 million] is spent outside the province each year); create economic benefits with new secure long-term jobs in renewable energy equipment manufacturing, operation and maintenance; and help Canada meet its Kyoto commitments. Currently Nova Scotia has no renewable energy policy. Rates are determined by Nova Scotia Power Inc. (NSPI). Renewable energy producers believe the government has ignored the 1990 URB decision that it must play a role in determining prices paid to independent power producers (IPPs). This policy has allowed NSPI to continue and strengthen its monopoly role in determining when and if they purchase renewables and what price they pay. Independent wind energy producers in Nova Scotia presently receive less than 7 cents/kWh from NSPI. In March 2006, Ontario adopted SOCs for projects under 10-megawatt of installed capacity that offer 20-year rates of 11 cents/kW for wind power and 45 cents/kW for commercial or domestic solar projects. REIANS is calling for the rates of pay for Nova Scotian SOCs to be equal or greater than what is being paid in Ontario. Recently, the Nova Scotia government accepted recommendations from the Electricity Market Governance Committee to adopt both Renewable Portfolio Standards and some form of Feed-In Tariff or SOC. REAINS noted the government’s support of a SOC policy would achieve a rapid and environmentally friendly economic growth of renewable energy projects throughout Nova Scotia.
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